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You will need an instrument rating attached to your licence if you want to fly under instrument flight rules. The instrument rating enables you to fly the aircraft solely with reference to the in-cockpit instrumentation. This means you will be able to fly in cloud and other circumstances of reduced visibility.

You can complete an IR for the following aircraft categories:

  • Aeroplanes
  • Helicopters
  • Airships

Once you have completed you IR, you will be able to fly under IFR with a minimum decision height of 200 feet (60 m) on instrument approach procedures.

Before applying for an IR

You need to have met certain pre-requisite requirements. These are explained below.

You will need to hold a current and valid Class 1 Part medical or Class 2 medical with a valid audiogram to apply.

Theoretical knowledge

As part of the application for an instrument rating, exams will need to be taken and passed in the following subject areas:

  • Air law
  • Aircraft general knowledge - instrumentation
  • Flight performance and monitoring
  • Human performance
  • Meteorology
  • Radio navigation
  • IFR communications

This should be completed as part of a course at an appropriately authorised ATO.

In some instances you can elect to take ATPL theoretical knowledge examinations instead of instrument rating exams.

If you already hold an instrument rating in another category of aircraft

If you hold an instrument rating held in one category of aircraft, it will fulfil the theoretical knowledge requirements for an instrument rating in any other category of aircraft. The instrument rating must be issued onto an EASA licence for this to apply.

Close Theoretical knowledge

Skill test

You will need to pass a skill test to demonstrate that you can perform the relevant procedures and manoeuvres to an appropriate standard.

For a multi-engine aircraft IR you will need to take your skill test in a multi-engine aircraft, and for a single-engine aircraft IR you will need to take your skill test in a single-engine aircraft. Multi-engine centreline thrust aeroplanes cannot be used as a multi-engine aircraft for the skill test.

Please refer to Standard Document 1A (for aeroplanes) and 1H (for helicopters), 7 A/H and Appendix 7 to Part FCL.

Close Skill test

Training

Aim

To gain an instrument rating by completing a standalone training course and operate aeroplanes under IFR and in IMC conditions.

Pre-requisites

Licence

You must hold one of the following licences:

  • at least a PPL(A) and FRTOL
    or
  • a CPL(A)
    or
  • an ATPL in another category of aircraft

If you want to use the privileges of the IR(A) at night and you only hold a PPL(A) you will also need to hold a Night rating.

Flying experience

You must also have completed at least 50 hours of cross country flight time as Pilot in Command (PIC) in aeroplanes, TMGs, helicopters or airships of which at least 10 hours shall be in aeroplanes.

Ratings

If you don't hold a CPL(A) and you want to complete the Procedural Instrument Flight Module you will need to have a Course Completion Certificate for the Basic Instrument Flight Module you will need to have a Course Completion Certificate for the Basic Instrument Flight Module before you take the course.

If you are completing a multi-engine IR(A) course but don't hold a multi-engine aeroplane class or type rating you will need to complete the training requirements for the multi-engine aeroplane before you start the IR(A) course.

Basic instrument flight module

This consists of 10 hours of instrument time under instruction, of which up to 5 hours can be instrument ground time in a BITD, FNPT I or II, or an FFS. Once you have completed this you will be issued with a course completion certificate.

Procedural instrument flight module

This consists of the remainder of the training syllabus for the IR(A), 40 hours single engine or 45 hours multi-engine instrument time under instruction and the theoretical knowledge course for the IR(A).

Close Pre-requisites

Theoretical knowledge training

You will need to complete an integrated or modular course.

You must complete at least 150 hours of theoretical knowledge instruction.

You must pass the relevant theoretical knowledge exams within an 18 month period.

You must demonstrate a level of theoretical knowledge appropriate to the privileges granted in the following subjects:

  • Air law
  • Aircraft general knowledge - instrumentation
  • Flight planning and monitoring
  • Human performance
  • Meteorology
  • Radio navigation
  • IFR communications

Theoretical knowledge crediting

An applicant for an IR or an EIR having passed the relevant theoretical examinations for a CPL in the same aircraft category is credited towards the theoretical knowledge requirements in the following subjects:

  • Human performance
  • Meteorology

An applicant with a valid IR (H) is exempt from the theoretical examinations for the IR (A).

Close Theoretical knowledge training

Flight training, testing and credits

Flying training (single engine)

A single engine IR(A) course must include at least 50 hours instrument time under instruction, of which:

  • up to 20 hours may be instrument ground time in a FNPT I
    or
  • up to 35 hours in an FFS or FNPT II. A maximum of 10 hours of FNPT II or an FFS instrument ground time may be conducted in a FNPT I

You must take a skill test in a single engine aeroplane at the end of your training course.

For more details please check Appendices 6 and 7 of Part FCL and Standards documents 1A and 7.

Flying training (multi-engine)

A multi-engine IR(A) course must include at least 55 hours instrument time under instruction, of which:

  • up to 25 hours may be instrument ground time in a FNPT I
    or
  • up to 40 hours in a FFS or FNPT II. A maximum of 10 hours of FNPT II or an FFS instrument ground time may be conducted in a FNPT I

The remaining instrument flight instruction shall include at least 15 hours in multi-engine aeroplanes.

You must take a skill test in a multi-engine aeroplane at the end of your training course.

For more details please check Appendices 6 and 7 of Part FCL and Standards documents 1A and 7.

Flying training (single engine to multi-engine)

A course of at least 5 hours instruction in instrument flying in multi engine aeroplanes, of which up to 3 hours may be in a FFS or FNPT II.

Flying credits for ICAO third country licence holders

Complete a minimum of 15 hours instrument time under instruction including recommendation for test in accordance with the approved procedures of the ATO, of which 5 hours may be in a FNPT I or 10 hours in a FNPT II or higher qualified device.

Holders of a current and valid IR(A) issued in accordance with ICAO Annex 1, but with privileges obtained on single-engine aeroplanes only, seeking a Part-FCL ME IR(A) will be required to attend an approved IR(A) training provider. In addition to the 15 hours instrument time under instruction training, an applicant must comply with the Part-FCL requirements for an ME Type Rating and the Part-FCL SE(IR) to ME(IR) training course requirements of Appendix 6,A,9.

Close Flight training, testing and credits

How to apply

Online application

You can submit your application using our online application form SRG3108

If you choose this method, you will need to upload the following supporting evidence: 

  • Examiner report form SRG2131
  • CAA5011 or your ATO Course Completion Certificate 
  • A certified copy of your UK Part-FCL licence 
  • A certified copy of your logbook. Electronic logbooks are acceptable, provided they have been printed and each page has been hand signed and dated. 

If you are applying on the basis of training and testing conducted by a non-UK approved EASA Part- FCL Approved Training Organisation you must provide copies of the following: 

  • the ATO's PART- ORA approval certificate 
  • a copy of the EASA simulator approval certificate  
  • the non-UK examiner's licence, medical and authorisation certificate 
  • return email confirmation from testnotification@caa.co.uk 

If you are applying on the basis of a Third country ICAO licence conversion you will need to provide: 

  • Form SRG2142 
  • A certified copy of your Third country ICAO licence , validating medical certificate and certificate of revalidation 
  • If your ICAO licence does not show the validity dates of the ratings, please submit certified copies of logbook pages showing the rating validity and test dates. 

If you are applying on the basis of a military service, you will also need to complete:

Close Online application

e-licensing

If you have previously used e-Licensing, please apply using this method.

Please note that only commercial pilots are able to use e-Licensing.  

If you choose to apply using e-Licensing, you will need to upload supporting documents as part of the application. Applicants will be asked for different supporting documentation depending on the selections they have made during the application. The table below lists the evidence you may be asked for and what you should upload in that section

Name in e-Licensing



Document required



Identification Document



A certified copy of your photo ID



Instrument Rating Skill Test 



Examiner report form SRG2131


and Examiner's licence, medical & examiner certificate (if non-UK examiner used)


These will all need to be uploaded as one PDF document.



Instrument Rating Course Certificate 



CAA5011



Theoretical Knowledge Course 



CAA5004 or copy of Theoretical Knowledge exam results 



Certified copy of licence for update rating(s)



A certified copy of your licence

Please note that if you are converting from a 3rd country licence, you will need to complete the verification process first via SRG2142.

Your original logbook may be requested as part of our quality process. 

Close e-licensing

Renewal and revalidation of instrument ratings

A valid class or type rating needs to be held unless this is combined with a proficiency check as detailed in FCL. 625 and FCL.625 (H) and advised in CAP1855

This page will be updated shortly to reflect these new requirements.

Renewal

If an IR(A) has expired, applicants need to:

  • go through refresher training at an ATO to reach the level of proficiency needed to pass the instrument element of the skill test in accordance with Appendix 9 to Part-FCL;
    and
  • complete a proficiency check in accordance with Appendix 9 to Part-FCL, in an aeroplane. If the IR(A) has not been revalidated or renewed within the preceding 7 years, the holder will be required to pass again the IR theoretical knowledge examination and skill test.


The UK CAA has adopted a derogation against FCL.625(d) (see paragraph 5.3). The 7 year period specified in FCL.625(d) commences from the date the IR(A) rating has expired.

FCL.625(d): IR Renewal requirement for pilots who hold or have held an IR on another licence

The UK CAA has adopted a derogation such that where a pilot holds or has held an Instrument Rating issued by a third country and that rating is compliant with Annex I to he Convention on International Civil Aviation, the applicability of FCL.625 IR(c) and (d) may be based on the validity dates of the Instrument Rating of that other country.

The effect of this exemption is that to renew the IR on a UK issued licence:

a pilot with a current and valid 3rd country IR shall complete the revalidation requirements of FCL.625(b) and the aircraft category specific requirements for revalidation of the Part-FCL IR; meaning that he must pass the proficiency check, but is not required to undergo training or to re-take the theoretical knowledge examinations;
or
a pilot who held a 3rd country IR that is no longer valid but had been revalidated or renewed within the preceding 7 years shall comply with the renewal requirements of FCL.625 IR(c), but is not required to re-take the theoretical
knowledge examinations.


United Kingdom Alternative Means of Compliance AltMoC1 FCL.625(c) IR Alt MoC1 FCL.625(c) IR - Validity, revalidation and renewal

Renewal of instrument rating: refresher training

Paragraph (c) of FCL.625 determines that if the instrument rating has lapsed, the applicant shall go through refresher training at an ATO, to reach the level of proficiency needed to pass the instrument element of the skill test in accordance with Appendix 9 to Part-FCL.

The amount of refresher training needed should be determined on a case-by-case basis by the ATO, taking into account the following factors:

  • the experience of the applicant;
  • the amount of time elapsed since the privileges of the rating were last used;
    and
  • where considered necessary, the performance of the applicant in an IR test in the FSTD or under actual or simulated IMC in an aircraft

It should be expected that the amount of training needed to reach the desired level of competence will increase with the time elapsed since the privileges of the rating were llast used.

Once the ATO has determined the needs of the applicant, it should develop an individual training programme based on the ATO's approved IR training course, focussing on the aspects where the applicant has shown the greatest needs.

Theoretical knowledge instruction should be included as necessary. The performance of the applicant should be reviewed during the training and additional instruction provided where necessary to reach the standard required for the proficiency check.

Training completion certificate

After successful completion of the training, the ATO should provide a training completion certificate to the applicant, describing the training provided. The training completion certificate should be presented to the Examiner prior to the Proficiency check.

Following the successful renewal of the rating, the completion certificate and examiner report form should be submitted to the competent authority, together with the relevant application form if the examiner cannot sign the certificate of revalidation in Section XII of the UK-issued licence.

Signing the certificate of validation

Note: Licence holders, ATOs and examiners are reminded that examiners are only authorised to sign the certificate of validation in Section XII (page 5 onwards) of a UK-issued licence when the rating is still shown on page 4 (Section XII) of the licence.

If the rating is no longer printed on page 4 (Section XII) of the icence, but appears in the section “ratings previously held by holder”, the rating is no longer included in the licence and cannot be reinstated by an examiner. In those circumstances application for renewal of the rating must be made to the CAA so that the rating may be made valid by being included in the licence again.

Close Renewal

Revalidation

When combined with the revalidation of a class or type rating, applicants must complete a proficiency check in accordance with Appendix 9 to Part-FCL;

When not combined with the revalidation of a class or type rating, applicants must :

  • for single-pilot aeroplanes, complete section 3b and those parts of section 1 relevant to the intended flight, of the proficiency check prescribed in Appendix 9 to Part-FCL;

    and

  • for multi-engine aeroplanes, complete section 6 of the proficiency check for single-pilot aeroplanes in accordance with Appendix 9 to Part-FCL by sole reference to instruments.

  • An FNPT II or an FFS representing the relevant class or type of aeroplane may be used in the case of paragraph (2), but at least each alternate proficiency check for the revalidation of an IR(A) in these circumstances shall be performed in an aeroplane.

Cross-credit shall be given in accordance with Appendix 8 to Part-FCL.

Credits detailed in Appendix 8 can only be used when both IRs are current and valid.

Cross-crediting of the IR part of a class or type rating proficiency check

Credits shall be granted only when the holder is revalidating IR privileges for single-engine and single-pilot multi-engine aeroplanes, as appropriate.

When a proficiency check including IR is performed, and the holder has a valid: Credit is valid towards the IR part in a proficiency check for:

MP type rating;

High performance complex aeroplane type rating

SE class

and

SE type rating

and

SP ME class, and SP ME non-high performance complex aeroplane type rating, only credits for section 3B of the skill test for single pilot non-high performance complex aeroplane of Appendix 9

SP ME non-high performance complex aeroplane type rating, operated as single-pilot

SP ME class

and

SP ME non-high performance complex aeroplane type rating,

and

SE class and type rating

SP ME non-high performance complex aeroplane type rating, restricted to MP operation a. SP ME class
and
b. SP ME non-high performance complex aeroplane type rating
and
c. SE class and type rating
SP ME class rating, operated as single-pilot

SE class and type rating, and

SP ME class, and

SP ME non-high performance complex aeroplane type rating

SP ME class rating, restricted to MP operation

SE class and type rating

and

SP ME class

and

SP ME non-high performance complex aeroplane type rating

SP SE class rating SE class and type rating
SP SE type rating SE class and type rating
Close Revalidation

Related information

Schools and training

Please ensure that your training provider is approved to conduct the training that you are undertaking.

We strongly recommend you check that your instructor and examiner hold the relevant privileges to conduct the training and any flight test, examination or assessment of competence that is being carried out.

How to find a UK examiner or UK approved school

EASA ratings list and flight simulators

Close Schools and training

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